Kylie Auldist Made Of Stone Review

Album. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

A bumping together of nostalgic soul and funk moves.

Martin Longley 2009

Amy Winehouse has spawned a renewed interest in authentic soul emotion, and while she's been in semi-retirement American singers Sharon Jones and Naomi Shelton have sated audience appetites. Now, there's some extra action Down Under, as Melbourne's Kylie Auldist releases her second album, successfully refining the retro-modern fusion of her debut, 2008’s Just Say.

Even though Auldist is caught up in a bumping together of nostalgic soul and funk moves, she's penning original material with producer and guitarist Lance Ferguson, backed once again by The Bamboos. This combination of modern words and musical distillation creates a new breed of soul, without rejecting its classic stance. The songs are always crafted well within the tradition, with Auldist's marvelously controlled hollerin' standing strong, right at each tune's heart.

The disc's first two cuts happen to be the contents of Auldist's double A-sided 7" single, making for a particularly strong start; both songs have been enjoying heavy rotation on Mark Lamarr's God's Jukebox show. The album title track's gutsy chorus is answered by bullish horn blasts, trimmed with choppy guitar strokes and chattering bongos. It's On is powered by a springy funk snap, coiled tight then released, dancing over a nimble bassline, and In a Week, in a Day takes an inward turn towards ballad reflection. But the pause is brief before I Will punches in, another strong tune with an emotive chorus.

A Steve Cropper-style guitar lick decorates the slow, emphatic slink of Kiss and Tell, as Auldist stretches her lines out in a sensuous drawl. Nearing the disc's end, the tactics keep changing, with the reggae bounce of What's the Cost? and the reduced three-piece backing of One Goodbye, which produces the album's only inconsequential track. That aside, though, this is a strong follow-up to a fine debut.

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